Regional Food Security Specialist – Nutrition
Location: Niamey, Niger
Job Type: full-time
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) is an integrated set of activities funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) intended to provide timely, accurate, evidence-based, and transparent food security early warning information and analysis. Created in 1985 in response to famines in East and West Africa, FEWS NET provides global coverage through a mix of presence and remote monitoring. FEWS NET’s work is implemented across several pillars by a team of partners that includes NASA, NOAA, USGS, Kimetrica, and Chemonics International (Chemonics). Chemonics implements FEWS NET’s integrated emergency food insecurity analysis through a Washington-based technical office and more than 20 field offices.
Based on in-depth understanding of local livelihoods, FEWS NET analysts monitor information and data on factors that affect food security, such as weather conditions and climate, crops, pasture, markets and trade, and nutrition. FEWS NET produces regular reports, including Food Security Outlooks and Outlook Updates, emergency alerts, market and price updates, and global weather hazards. FEWS NET makes reports available at www.fews.net and distributes them globally to governments, relief agencies, and other organizations engaged in humanitarian response and development programs.
The seventh phase of FEWS NET (FEWS NET 7) began in 2019 and relies on close collaboration with international, regional, and national partners on food security analysis and reinforcement of food security networks. Major activities include joint monitoring and assessments, data exchanges, collaborative analysis and report writing, and technical capacity strengthening. FEWS NET supports local and regional food security networks to contribute to achieving the global objective of food security for all.
Nutrition is an integral part of food security analysis. Nutritional status is both a driving factor influencing food insecurity, and also an outcome of food insecurity. Along with data on food consumption and livelihoods, nutrition data are some of the most important pieces of evidence used to classify the severity of food insecurity for a population.
FEWS NET uses nutrition information and data to inform food security projections made using scenario development, FEWS NET’s methodology to develop food security projections. Nutrition information is a key piece of evidence used to make the Cadre Harmonisé (CH) and the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) for an area. In addition, FEWS NET makes assumptions about the evolution of the nutrition situation based on analysis of the causes of undernutrition and factors that are likely to influence nutrition in the future.
The overarching goal for FEWS NET’s nutrition sector is to develop an in-depth nutrition knowledge base and fully integrate nutritional information into FEWS NET’s early warning and food security analysis. This goal is achieved through:
- Building internal capacity;
- Building the nutrition knowledge base;
- Conducting rapid nutrition assessments when needed;
- Improving understanding of the causes of acute and chronic undernutrition; and,
- Contributing to global food security and nutrition protocols and initiatives
Malnutrition is a major problem in West Africa and reflects a complex situation. FEWS NET is a key and active member of the Nutrition Taskforce of the Technical Committee of the CH and the Regional Food Security and Nutrition Working Group. FEWS NET also participates in IPC Acute Malnutrition analyses and provides extremely valued early warning expertise in the region.
- The Regional Food Security Specialist – Nutrition (RFSS-N) will support the Regional Representative (RR) in implementing FEWS NET’s nutrition priorities and will coordinate nutrition fieldwork in the West Africa region.
The main responsibilities of the RFSS-N include, but are not limited to:
Monitoring, analysis, and reporting:
- Maintaining relevant regional technical databases built from input from national offices and from regional partners
- Providing high quality and effective early warning of threats to food security and supporting efforts to mitigate food insecurity and prevent food crises through the effective communication of actionable food security analysis
- Fulfilling monthly reporting requirements including contributing food security outlooks and updates, providing regular briefings to the US Government and other partners as requested, and developing thematic nutrition products
- Contributing to monitoring of countries in the region, including directly carrying out monitoring activities through field assessments in both presence and non-presence countries
- Contributing to other FEWS NET information products required locally and by the Washington-based technical team
Technical capacity development and guidance:
- Supporting capacity-building efforts and nutrition trainings for FEWS NET staff and partners
- Supporting the Nutrition Coordinator in developing guidance documents
- Providing technical guidance and ad hoc support to the region and project on nutrition-related analysis and monitoring
Leadership, representation, and liaison:
- Assisting the RR in carrying out other technical, management, and representational functions of the regional office upon request
- Overseeing nutrition-related activities in the region and participating in internal strategic planning for FEWS NET’s nutrition sector
- Seeking collaboration with regional partners to enhance nutrition work related to early warning
- Representing FEWS NET technical expertise at regional nutritional meetings, assessments planning, training, surveys supervision and results analyses
- Fluency in English and French is required, local language skills desirable
- Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or higher) in Nutrition, Public Health, or a related technical field. Directly related professional experience can substitute for education experience
- Significant regional experience in analyzing and interpreting nutrition data
- Significant relevant regional experience with Household Economy Analysis (HEA), early warning/food security information systems, food security analysis, as well as other related fields
- Demonstrated ability to effectively conduct nutrition assessments, particularly SMART surveys, focus group discussions, key information interviews, and other rural rapid appraisal techniques
- Understanding of nutrition surveillance and information systems.
- Demonstrated ability to work and coordinate effectively with regional partners and stakeholders
- Experience leading capacity building activities
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Excellent analytical and report-writing skills
- Excellent computer skills
Location and Reporting:
- The RFSS-N will be based in Niamey, Niger. The RFSS-N is an integral member of the FEWS NET regional team and will work under the supervision of the West Africa RR.
- S/He will collaborate with a team of regional technical experts and other technical staff of the region under the leadership of the West Africa RR.
- The RFSS-N will be required to travel intensely within the region of posting, and some international travel may be required.
- Candidates will be evaluated against the following core competencies and technical skills.
- Relevancy of education to the work of FEWS NET
- English and French language ability (spoken and written)
- Presentation skills
- Computer skills
- Evidence of working with and coordinating partners, networking and collaboration
- Coordination and Representational experience
- Evidence of working independently and indifferent context/countries in West Africa
Technical Skills (depth of understanding and experience on the following topics)
- Food security
- Livelihoods and Household Economy Approach (HEA)
- Markets and trade
- Agro-climatology (agro-meteorology, remote sensing, GIS, etc.)
- Agricultural sciences (crops, livestock, pasture, etc.)
- Field assessments (quantitative and/or qualitative)
- Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC)
- Cadre Harmonisé (CH)
28th February, 2020.
Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online
Application Instruction/Important Notice
- Interested candidates should fill out the general information form and upload their CV and a cover letter through the above link.
- All application materials, including responses to the general information form, CVs, and cover letters, should be provided in English.
- The position is based Niamey, Niger and is open to all qualified candidates. No telephone inquiries.
- Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.
- Location Niamey, Niger NGN Month